Made in America 1800-1900: Fine Ceramics from Commission Collections

The decorative arts department of the William Penn Memorial Museum in Harrisburg, ad­ministered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, houses a collection of fine American ceramic pieces spanning the years from 1800 to 1900. Many of these examples are very familiar, but some are quite surprising and not as well known. This sampling from the collections can help to trace the design...
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Samuel Yellin: With a Hammer for a Pencil

When Samuel Yellin opened his Arch Street Metal worker’s Studio in Philadelphia in 1920, most who shared his ancient craft had abandoned their tools in favor of other pursuits. Yellin was a blacksmith – he insisted on calling himself that, although clients flocked to him for his sculptural and artistic skill, rather than to have horses shod or plows mended. From his shop poured the...
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Violet Oakley, Lady Mural Painter

When Violet Oak­ley accepted the commission – and challenge – of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to decorate the State Capitol then under con­struction in Harrisburg, she announced that the subject of her mural series would be “The Romance of the Found­ing of the State.” In 1902, the ardent lady mural painter, then twenty-eight years old and the only one of her kind,...
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